Foreign Language Anxiety in Virtual Classrooms during the Covid-19 Pandemic in Turkey
Keywords:Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA), English as a foreign language (EFL), virtual/online classes
This mixed-methods study investigated Foreign Language Anxiety in virtual English as Foreign Language (EFL) classrooms during the Covid-19 pandemic in Turkey. The Turkish EFL university learners’ anxious feelings in traditional and virtual classrooms were compared. Then, the reasons for their feelings were explored. Data were gathered from 212 online learners via a questionnaire including both open-ended and close-ended questions. A large number of the students felt less stressed in a face-to-face classroom. Comparing the activities, a larger number of the respondents felt less stressed to participate in face-to-face classroom language activities than in online classroom activities. Over half of the respondents felt anxious thinking that others might see their home settings or hear the voices in their homes, recorded for every activity, physical and mental health due to long-time use of technology. The online classroom setting made a large number of the participants feel more suffocated and isolated. The existence of live interactions in face-to-face environments were mentioned as an effective factor. The other reasons included individual differences and preferences, lack of technological knowledge, and the technological infrastructure problem. In terms of the benefits of the online classes, several learners felt comfortable with answering questions while others are not looking at them, and that others do not see their physical appearance. The direct presence of eye contact with the teachers in face-to-face classrooms made several students more nervous. Some also referred to the Covid-19 pandemic and that it is risky for their health to be in face-to-face classrooms.
Al-Qahtani, M. H. (2019). Teachers’ and students’ perceptions of virtual classes and the effectiveness of virtual classes in enhancing communication skills. Arab World English Journal, December(1), 223–240. https://doi.org/10.24093/awej/efl1.16
Aydin, S. (2011). Internet anxiety among foreign language learners. TechTrends, 55, 46–54. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-011-0483-y
Aydın, S. (2018). Technology and foreign language anxiety: Implications for practice and future. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 14(2), 193–211.
Botes, E., Dewaele, J.-M., & Greiff, S. (2020). The foreign language classroom anxiety scale and academic achievement: An overview of the prevailing literature and a meta-analysis. Journal for the Psychology of Language Learning, 2(1), 26–56. https://doi.org/10.52598/jpll/2/1/3
Broadribb, S., & Carter, C. (2009). Using Second Life in human resource development. British Journal of Educational Technology, 40(3), 547–550. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2009.00950.x
Carr, D., Oliver, M., & Burn, A. (2010). Learning, teaching and ambiguity in virtual worlds. In A. Peachey, J. Gillen, D. Livingstone, & S. Smith-Robbins (Eds.), Researching Learning in Virtual Worlds. Human-Computer Interaction Series. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-84996-047-2_2
Chastain, K. (1975). Affective and ability factors in second language acquisition. Language Learning, 25(1), 153–161. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-1770.1975.tb00115.x
Childs, M. (2010). Learners’ experience of presence in virtual worlds.
Chua, S. L., Chen, D.-T., & Wong, A. F. L. (1999). Computer anxiety and its correlates: A meta-analysis. Computers in Human Behavior, 15(5), 609–623. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0747-5632(99)00039-4
Cooke-Plagwitz, J. (2008). New directions in CALL: An objective introduction to Second Life. CALICO Journal, 25(3), 547–557. https://doi.org/10.1558/cj.v25i3.547-557
Côté, S., & Gaffney, C. (2021). The effect of synchronous computer-mediated communication on beginner L2 learners’ foreign language anxiety and participation. The Language Learning Journal, 49(1), 105–116. https://doi.org/10.1080/09571736.2018.1484935
Dewaele, J.-M., & MacIntyre, P. D. (2014). The two faces of Janus? Anxiety and enjoyment in the foreign language classroom. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 4(2), 237–274. https://doi.org/10.14746/ssllt.2014.4.2.5
Dewaele, J.-M., Witney, J., Saito, K., & Dewaele, L. (2018). Foreign language enjoyment and anxiety: The effect of teacher and learner variables. Language Teaching Research, 22(6), 676–697. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168817692161
Dewaele, J., Petrides, K. V., & Furnham, A. (2008). Effects of trait emotional intelligence and sociobiographical variables on communicative anxiety and foreign language anxiety among adult multilinguals: A review and empirical investigation. Language Learning, 58(4), 911–960. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2008.00482.x
Goertler, S. (2011). Blended and open/online learning: Adapting to a changing world of foreign language teaching. In N. Arnold & L. Ducate (Eds.), Present and future promises of CALL: From theory and research to new directions in language teaching (pp. 471–501). CALICO.
Grant, S., Huang, H., & Pasfield-Neofitou, S. (2013). Language learning in virtual worlds: The role of foreign language and technical anxiety. Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, 6(1), 1–9.
Gregersen, T., & MacIntyre, P. D. (2014). Capitalizing on individual differences: From premise to practice. Multilingual Matters.
Hampel, R. (2003). Theoretical perspectives and new practices in audio-graphic conferencing for language learning. ReCALL, 15(1), 21–35. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0958344003000314
Hampel, R., Felix, U., Hauck, M., & Coleman, J. A. (2005). Complexities of learning and teaching languages in a real-time audiographic environment. German as a Foreign Language Journal, 3, 1–30.
Horwitz, E. (2001). Language anxiety and achievement. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 21, 112–126. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0267190501000071
Horwitz, E. K. (2010). Foreign and second language anxiety. Language Teaching, 43(2), 2010. https://doi.org/10.1017/S026144480999036X
Horwitz, E. K., Horwitz, M. B., & Cope, J. (1986). Foreign language classroom anxiety. The Modern Language Journal, 70(2), 125–132. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.1986.tb05256.x
Huang, P., & Hwang, Y. (2013). An exploration of EFL learners’ anxiety and e-learning environments. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 4(1), 27–35. https://doi.org/10.4304/jltr.4.1.27-35
Kaisar, M. T., & Chowdhury, S. Y. (2020). Foreign language virtual class room: Anxiety creator or healer? English Language Teaching, 13(11), 130–139. https://doi.org/10.5539/elt.v13n11p130
Kauffman, H. (2015). A review of predictive factors of student success in and satisfaction with online learning. Research in Learning Technology, 23, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v23.26507
Kleinmann, H. H. (1977). Avoidance behavior in adult second language acquisition. Language Learning, 27(1), 93–107. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-1770.1977.tb00294.x
Kruk, M. (2018). Changes in foreign language anxiety: A classroom perspective. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 28(1), 31–57. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijal.12182
Kuo, Y.-C., Walker, A. E., Belland, B. R., & Schroder, K. E. E. (2013). A predictive study of student satisfaction in online education programs. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 14(1), 16–39. https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v14i1.1338
Lewis, A., & Atzert, S. (2000). Dealing with computer-related anxiety in the project-oriented CALL classroom. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 13(4–5), 377–395.
Liu, M., & Huang, W. (2011). An exploration of foreign language anxiety and English learning motivation. Education Research International, 2011, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1155/2011/493167
Liu, M., & Xiangming, L. (2019). Changes in and effects of anxiety on English test performance in Chinese postgraduate EFL classrooms. Education Research International, 2019, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/7213925
Liu, M., & Yuan, R. (2021). Changes in and effects of foreign language classroom anxiety and listening anxiety on Chinese undergraduate students’ English proficiency in the COVID-19 context. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.670824
MacIntyre, P. D. (1995). How does anxiety affect second language learning? A reply to Sparks and Ganschow. The Modern Language Journal, 79(1), 90–99. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.1995.tb05418.x
MacIntyre, P. D., & Gardner, R. C. (1991). Methods and results in the study of anxiety and language learning: A review of the literature. Language Learning, 41(1), 85–117. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-1770.1991.tb00677.x
MacIntyre, P. D., & Gardner, R. C. (1994). The subtle effects of language anxiety on cognitive processing in the second language. Language Learning, 44(2), 283–305. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-1770.1994.tb01103.x
Majid, F. A., Nurul, W., Haslee, E., Luaran, J. E., & Nadzri, F. A. (2012). A Study on the on-line language learning anxiety among adult learners. International Journal of E-Education, e-Business, e-Management and e-Learning, 2(3), 187–192. https://doi.org/10.7763/IJEEEE.2012.V2.106
Melchor-couto, S. (2017). Foreign language anxiety levels in Second Life oral interaction. ReCALL, 29(1), 99–119. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0958344016000185
Ozkara, B. O., & Cakir, H. (2020). Comparison of collaborative and individual learning in online learning. TOJET: The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 19(4), 66–74.
Pallant, J. (2013). SPSS survival manual: A step by step guide to data analysis using IBM SPSS (5th. ed.). Open University Press.
Payne, J. S. (2020). Developing L2 productive language skills online and the strategic use of instructional tools. Foreign Language Annals, 53(2), 243–249. https://doi.org/10.1111/flan.12457
Pichette, F. (2009). Second language anxiety and distance language learning. Foreign Language Annals, 42(1), 77–93. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1944-9720.2009.01009.x
Russell, V. (2018). Assessing the effect of pedagogical interventions on success rates and on students’ perceptions of connectedness online. In S. Link & J. Li (Eds.), Assessment across online language education (pp. 49–70). CALICO Series: Advances in CALL Research and Practice.
Russell, V. (2020). Language anxiety and the online learner. Foreign Language Annals, 53(2), 338–352. https://doi.org/10.1111/flan.12461
Russell, V., & Curtis, W. (2013). Comparing a large- and small-scale online language course: An examination of teacher and learner perceptions. The Internet and Higher Education, 16, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2012.07.002
Russell, V., & Murphy-Judy, K. (2020). Teaching language online: A guide to designing, developing, and delivering online, blended, and flipped language courses. Routledge.
Scovel, T. (1978). The effect of affect on foreign language learning: A review of the anxiety research. Language Learning, 28(1), 129–142. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-1770.1978.tb00309.x
Sparks, R. L., & Ganschow, L. (1995). A strong inference approach to causal factors in foreign language learning: A response to MacIntyre. The Modern Language Journal, 79(2), 235–244. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.1995.tb05436.x
Steinberg, F. S., & Horwitz, E. K. (1986). The effect of induced anxiety on the denotative and interpretive content of second language speech. TESOL Quarterly, 20(1), 131–136. https://doi.org/10.2307/3586395
Tudini, V. (2007). Negotiation and intercultural learning in Italian native speaker chat rooms. The Modern Language Journal, 91(4), 577–601. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2007.00624.x
Woodrow, L. (2006). Anxiety and speaking English as a second language. RELC Journal, 37(3), 308–328. https://doi.org/10.1177/0033688206071315
Yan, J. X., & Horwitz, E. K. (2008). Learners‘ perceptions of how anxiety interacts with personal and instructional factors to influence their achievement in English: A qualitative analysis of EFL learners in China. Language Learning, 58(1), 151–183. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2007.00437.x
Young, D. J. (1991). Creating a low‐anxiety classroom environment: What does language anxiety research suggest? The Modern Language Journal, 75(4), 426–437. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.1991.tb05378.x
Zhu, C. (2012). Student satisfaction, performance, and knowledge construction in online collaborative learning. International Forum of Educational Technology & Society, 15(1), 126–136.